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Out of the Wallet and into the Purse: Using Micro Data to Test Income Pooling

  • Jennifer Ward-Batts

This paper uses an exogenous change in the intrahousehold distribution of income, provided by a change in United Kingdom Family Allowance policy to test the income-pooling hypothesis implied by unitary household models. Expenditure shares are estimated for a wide range of goods using household-level data. Shifts in expenditure shares suggest that children and mothers benefited at the expense of fathers when this policy change shifted income within households from men to women. Similar shifts are not found among married-couple households with no children. This paper refutes income pooling, and confirms and extends results in Lundberg, Pollak, and Wales (1997).

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 43 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 325-351

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:43:y:2008:i:2:p:325-351
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
  2. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  3. François BOURGUIGNON & Martin BROWNING & Pierre-André CHIAPPORI & Valérie LECHENE, 1993. "Intra Household Allocation of Consumption: A Model and some Evidence from French Data," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 29, pages 137-156.
  4. Meghir, Costas & Robin, Jean-Marc, 1992. "Frequency of purchase and the estimation of demand systems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 53-85.
  5. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-44, September.
  6. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  7. Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Working Papers 94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  8. Phipps, Shelley A & Burton, Peter S, 1998. "What's Mine Is Yours? The Influence of Male and Female Incomes on Patterns of Household Expenditure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(260), pages 599-613, November.
  9. repec:hal:journl:hal-00359440 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Alderman, Harold, et al, 1995. "Unitary versus Collective Models of the Household: Is It Time to Shift the Burden of Proof?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 1-19, February.
  11. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-67, June.
  12. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, May.
  13. Ted Bergstrom, 1995. "A Survey of Theories of the Family," Papers _027, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  14. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
  15. Schultz, T.P., 1990. "Testing The Neoclassical Model Of Family Labor Supply And Fertility," Papers 601, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  16. Wales, T. J. & Woodland, A. D., 1983. "Estimation of consumer demand systems with binding non-negativity constraints," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 263-285, April.
  17. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Kanbur, Ravi, 1993. "Unitary versus collective models of the household : time to shift theburden of proof?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1217, The World Bank.
  18. Deaton, Angus & Irish, Margaret, 1984. "Statistical models for zero expenditures in household budgets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 59-80.
  19. Blundell, Richard & Meghir, Costas, 1987. "Bivariate alternatives to the Tobit model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 179-200.
  20. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
  21. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1994. "Noncooperative Bargaining Models of Marriage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 132-37, May.
  22. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
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